The South West Energy Centre

The Energy Centre South West is part of South Devon College and provides specialist training in renewable energy and green technology techniques.
This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2013 -2015 archived pages.



South West Energy Centre launched!

5th September 2013

Over 400 members of the public were the first to visit the eagerly awaited South West Energy Centre, at White Rock, Long Road, Paignton during its Launch Day recently.  The day was a fantastic success – the Centre, which is part of South Devon College,  was buzzing with people interested in reducing their energy costs, seeking out new technologies and seeing renewable technologies in action.  The Centre is now open for individuals, community representatives and businesses to drop in, phone or email the Centre to find out more from  experts about anything energy related.  Those interested can contact the Centre by emailing or ringing 01803 540725.  

The Launch Day saw a steady flow of people of all ages throughout the day, and there was plenty to amaze and entertain them.  One of the main highlights was Torbay’s own all-electric Bay Cycle, which was joined on the day by an impressive range of low carbon vehicles, including the Schnieder Electric Car, the Nissan Leaf which people enjoyed taking for a brief test drive, the College’s biodiesel Landrover, the Honda hybrid car, and electric bikes which people could test ride up and down the Centre car park! Other popular attractions were the demonstration of straw bale construction by TSC Transition Homes and the almost zero carbon Passivhaus.  Paddy McNevin, the Centre Director, led the very well attended tours of the Centre and  Passivhaus.  Regen SW gave a Masterclass on the potential for the energy sector in the South West, and the Centre’s own Svet Stoykov gave a fascinating talk on the Passivhaus construction and its low carbon credentials.  The Innovation Suite, run by the Torbay Development Agency, also attracted interest from entrepreneurs who were thinking of setting up energy related businesses and would like to be situated in the Centre.    

Pawz, South Devon College’s mascot, was a bit hit with the children who followed the Pawz trail to find out more about renewable technologies.  The exhibitors, who included Eco Trades, The Fell Partnership, Parasol Group, Safeheat Torbay, Devonshire Renewables, Teign Renewables, Worcester Bosch, ADS Window Films, City Electrical Factors, Regen SW, South West Water, Kier Construction (the main contractors for the Centre and the Passivhaus), NAPIT (the National Association for Professional Inspectors and Testers), the European Regional Development Fund (which part funds the Centre) and Crispin Associates were all delighted with the event:  

Dave Crispin, Managing Director of Crispin Associates (UK) Ltd, was delighted with the event.  “What a result! Response from public and local businesses alike was fantastic and Crispin Associates were really pleased to be invited along to the opening of the South West Energy Centre in Paignton. Crispin’s Solar-powered PCs and servers were well received, with interest, enquiries and potential orders from all sectors. Congratulations to South Devon College on a great project—we look forward to growing the environmental part of our business alongside you.”

Patrick Seiflow, from Eco Trades who were also an  exhibitor, said, “We were delighted to be involved in the South West Energy Centre launch day on Saturday 31st August. Our exhibition showed a fully working thermodynamic model as part of our renewable energy display; this generated much interest on the day. We have always had a good working relationship with the college and believe that the Energy Centre is a huge benefit to the local area. Having introduced a number of clients to the on-site Passivhaus, this has been greatly appreciated by all parties. We are excited about the new Apprenticeship programme and wish the Energy Centre much success.”

The Launch Day also attracted people who were interested in both the full time Enviroskills courses and the short courses available at the Centre such as the Green Deal Advisor course and the Smart Metering course.  Anyone interested in these courses, or any others on offer should contact the Centre on 01803 540725



The South West Energy Centre - bespoke energy solutions

Launched in September 2013, the South West Energy Centre is the catalyst for rapid growth in the green sector throughout the local area and beyond. The Centre is a high profile, inspirational skills and business development institution that will shape the future of the South West.

Working in partnership with multinational organisations, the South West Energy Centre offers a range of invaluable services. This includes helping businesses diversify into environmental areas, developing and identifying new markets for energy related technologies and facilitating businesses to save energy whilst cutting costs.

One of the main focuses of the South West Energy Centre is to train and develop the skilled workforce that green technologies necessitate. With renewable technologies set to grow exponentially in the next decade, many businesses are keen to employ staff with essential skills in installing, maintaining and supplying energy saving solutions.

The centre features a biomass boiler, thermal cooling, solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal panels, amongst various other low energy systems, all of which are expected to play an essential role in reducing this country’s energy consumption and emissions.

By working closely with local and national businesses, the South West Energy Centre can help develop excellent employment pathways for early adopters of green technology skills. With a variety of courses available for both university students and employers, there’s never been a better time to invest in the future!



South West Energy Centre provides training in renewable technologies, covering a broad range of subjects including Green Deal Advisor training, Solar PV installation, Biomass, Electrical, Plumbing and Gas training. Training packages are available to meet all training needs, whether it's a formal qualification or you need something designed specifically for you or your business. Click here to find out what's on offer.


Business Support

Our aim is to improve and support the renewable energy sector in Torbay and beyond by supporting businesses in moving towards greener practices in the Low Carbon Sector. We can help you or your business in a variety of ways. If you would like information, advice or a general discussion about your business needs, feel free to pop in, give us a call or email us any time. Click here to find out more.



The Centre runs a variety of events for businesses and the general public; they're a fantastic opportunity to visit our state-of-the-art building and make the most of the different services available. Whether it's a Trade Show, Landlord Information Session, Solar PV Advice Session or something else, click here to find out what's coming up soon. Don't forget, if you can't make the dates you can always contact us directly for one-to-one advice!



Award Winning

The Annual Property Awards were founded to acknowledge and celebrate the commercial property sector in the South West, and its continued growth is a strong indication of region’s developing market, and the high quality of competition that the South West Energy Centre faced.

The energy centre was awarded the title of the ‘Eco Project of the Year’, recognising the centre as a hallmark building in the green and renewable sector.

The energy centre won thanks to its cutting edge green features, which includes a solar thermal wall, photovoltaic arrays and the Passivhaus; an innovative structure designed to showcase revolutionary building solutions and sustainable building techniques. The centre’s leading initiatives have also contributed to it achieving an Excellent rating in the BREEAM benchmark scheme for sustainable builds.

The South West Energy Centre was then declared the ‘Building of the Year’, a prestigious title that made history as the centre became the first double winner at the awards. This was an exceptional achievement, and just reward for the teams’ long-standing dedication and passion in making the project a resounding success, and a catalyst for growth in the South West.